This may sound strange, but the more I hear harsh words of reality and wisdom, the calmer I feel about creativity, business, and life. There are 5 hard truths to hear that have motivated and inspired me more than most other things in life, and I want to share them with you. I hold these ideas very close and see them in only positive ways.
1. You may never be as talented as you wish you were.
Always strive for more. If you reach a place of contentment, growth has stopped.
2. You deserve to FAIL.
Not just that you will fail, but you deserve to fail. Everyone has to fail to understand the sweetness of succeeding. So not only will you fail, but you should want to fail. Failure is how we measure success and how we gain perspective on the world.
3. You will be told NO more than YES.
Understand that every no is another way of getting to where you want to go, and perseverance is key. Hearing no is validation that you are doing something meaningful.
4. You are only as good as your weakest deed.
When you try to be the best version of yourself you gain a better vision of yourself. Think about the best person you can be, and then be that person as much as possible. Change and growth are always within our control. How you see the world and respond to it make you unique, and you can be better than you were before.
5. People WILL NOT like you.
No matter what you do or how kind you are or how great your intentions are, people will not like you. Good. Take it, let that digest, and tell the world you’re okay with that. Love yourself first, and more will follow. Never all, but you’ll have a great foundation of support and love. After all, the saying “You get what you give” is one of the truest I know.
Kristin V. - My dear friend,
What an amazing gift you have in sharing yourself. It may seem so simple but what comes from it is a gift to so many. Love these. They are great reminders for all of trying to be better versions of ourselves.
brookeshaden - Kristin, thank you so much. I adore watching all that you do and I’m so proud of you always.
Margherita Introna - Brooke, this is awesome! Thank you for posting this <3 These are truths I learnt a long time ago and I agree totally… turn them into something positive. Today I met with the beautiful artist Claire Gunn and we were putting together some thoughts on our next exhibition. The notion of seeing things immediately as either positive or negative was something that came up and I am grateful to surround myself with like-minded people… We are taking some big risks and trying some new things with our next exhibition and we are excited to see how they pan out… for that that might not work as we hope, we will certainly learn and grow from… those that work will be the bonus 🙂 xx
brookeshaden - Wow Margherita, that sounds like an absolutely fascinating exhibition. I am so happy for you! Keep me posted on how it progresses!
Margherita Introna - Aww, you’re so sweet <3 Here are some photographs that Claire put up of our opening night for our current exhibition: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.694207420638505.1073741838.151384911587428&type=1
The event page with more details is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/270305766467085/
Our next exhibition is planned for May and besides the much more fine art prints that we'll be exhibiting, we are going to have a bunch of other related items and themes… Lots of hard work and money on the line, but so much heart, soul and passion…
Robert Cornelius - Yes yes yes! So much truth. Thanks for sharing. I actually just failed yesterday haha. The newest addition to my Dust to Dust series ended up just not turning out as I had hoped and envisioned. Even though I spent hours and hours on it, I deciding to scrap the whole image. I learned what I didn’t like about it and started all over with a completely different idea and I’m LOVING the new one 🙂 I might never have created it if I hadn’t failed first.
brookeshaden - That is SOOO fantastic Robert!! I love that you can see the good in a failure, pick up, and start over. Can’t wait to see what you’re creating!
Robert Cornelius - Here is the finished piece!! It turned out so much better than I had hoped 🙂
Elisabeth on Earth - This is so incredibly inspiring, Robert. Thank you for posting! I saw your final piece and it put such a huge smile on my face ~ look what came out of failure! Just love it.
moodphototeija - Hi again!
How you can always know the things I am struggling with?
I was feeling quite low last week… I let the bad things I hear from myself get to me… I am not a real photographer etc… I use too much light, I do not know how to use light, I am this and that…
I know that everyone will never like me, and they really do not have to… but why sometimes people makes so nasty comments???
Anyway, you are my guru! <3
brookeshaden - I think that we all go through weeks like that, but it is how we pull ourselves out of them that is the truest testament to our character. I hate the feeling of being low, but at the same time, it provides perspective for those natural highs that life throws at us, or that we make for ourselves. Keep chasing the light (literally and figuratively). You always have a friend in me!
moodphototeija - thank you friend!
Carin Harris - Hi Brooke
A hard life lesson delivered in a delicate & honest way. Thank you.
I agree with everything you say, but it makes so much more sense when I hear someone else saying out loud what passes through my own mind. Failure or the fear of failure is my greatest stumbling block but I will endevour to free myself of that shackle and not take any future failure (of which I’m sure there’ll be many) to heart quite so much. 🙂
brookeshaden - I understand that so well – I love reading winnie the pooh quotes because its nice to have someone else put into words what you’re thinking. xoxo
Alexandra G. - Can I refer to you as “my therapist”? LOL
Very good points as always!
brookeshaden - Ahh I love it! <3
Shaun Poston - Awesome post Brooke! The age old Yin and Yang. For the good cannot exist without the bad. I often have to remind myself that without the turmoil in my life, I would not be able to taste the sweetness of the many successes and blessings I have to be grateful for. This post struck home with me because I, like many, am not particularly proud of my past but I am however optimistic about my future. It has been a lifelong goal of mine to leave a positive imprint on the world but I had often beat myself up for failing to find a way to do that. Through photography, I now have an outlet to share a positive message to the world and as I mentioned to you before, you have played a major role in that. The world needs more positive influences like you in it and people that are willing to take action to make it happen. Now that there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, I aim to join you in that path and will stop at nothing until I achieve that lifelong goal! 🙂 if I can shed just an inkling of joy into someone’s day through my imagery, then I have succeeded and makes my entire journey, both the ups and the downs, worth every minute of it. So Thank you Brooke! You are an inspiration and a life changer to many including myself! I know I don’t post much on here and I apologize for that, but I do read all if your posts and soak everything in. 🙂 this site has been a motivation since you started it! Hope you enjoy your time home! Take Care Brooke! 🙂
Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman - Brooke, you never fail to inspire me and add love to my life. I especially love #5 as someone I considered a friend just banished me with no apparent reason. I accept that and I will go on. But your words make it easier for me to not carry a burden. 🙂 Thank you!
brookeshaden - Ahh I suppose its really not a good thing that #5 rings true, though so glad it could help in some way. You are an amazing woman and anyone in your life is lucky to know you.
Lisa Bonowicz - Your words of inspiration always make my day. It is so hard to accept that not everyone will like you. Especially for those of us who tend to be ‘people pleasers’. I am just now beginning to learn that some people have their own issues and hangups and agendas that manifest themselves as negativity towards others (sometimes purposefully, sometimes not) and that, often, it really has nothing to do with me. And while rejection and ‘failure’ of almost any form is painful, it IS necessary to grow. Thanks for these reminders to focus on the journey, accept what happens and to learn and grow from it. 🙂
brookeshaden - Thank you Lisa. I have a hard time accepting that as well – I am definitely a people pleaser and am trying to find the balance between saying no and standing up for myself vs. being someone who can be walked all over. It is difficult, but so necessary.
Mary Angelini - Where were these pearls of wisdom when I was a young and impressionable kid dreaming of an artists life?! I am definitely passing these on to my daughter!! As always. thanks for imparting your wisdom for our benefit 🙂
brookeshaden - Aww Mary you make my days brighter!
Paulo Carvalho - Another great post, brooke! I have nothing to add further than you said so well. Only saying, it’s always a pleasure to pass through this blog and feel your beautiful words. Congratulations. A hug of thanks from Portugal.
brookeshaden - Thank you so much Paulo for your support, it means the world to me!
natalie - I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for everything you do. I’m sure this video and all others you created inspire everyone who watches them. <3
I hope one day i will be able to give so much experiences and love to world as you do:) love you
brookeshaden - Aww Natalie thank you endlessly!! I am really grateful for you.
Ben Perrott - I love your work, videos everything !! Big Big fan your just so amazing, I also love photography and I really wanna create my own stories, your so right about you are never talented as you wish and that is a good thing totally !!! omg soo true
I would love it if you checked me out on flickr it would be like so amazing for me.. I’ve been doing a project on Astral Projection im really into spirituality and mythology and crazy stuffs.. I’m also doing my exam on the personification of life and death soon which im so excited about !! eep !!
Your so inspirational Brooke I’ve been looking at your work every spare moment, just so beautiful !
brookeshaden - Thank you so much Ben!! You’re doing some lovely atmospheric work – can’t wait to see how you progress!
Ben Perrott - That means so much :O ! Thankyou for replying to me, I imagine your inboxes must be full to the rim !
I look forward to hearing about your big life change in April too !! 🙂 Also your India work is just influential, speechless Love it ! 🙂 Hope I get the chance to hear from you again 😀
Taryn Boyd - you are so inspiring, you make me cry every time I hear you speak or read your words. THANK you for being a breath of fresh air!!
brookeshaden - Aww Taryn thank you!!
Andrea - All I have to say after watching this is :).
Thanks for posting Brooke <3
brookeshaden - 🙂 🙂 🙂
Shaun Poston - I also wanted to ask you if y’all were still accepting donations for your survivors of human trafficking project?
brookeshaden - Shaun, yes absolutely. Thank you so much for asking. Here is the link 🙂
Shaun Poston - Awesome! Thanks!
Shaun Poston - I wish I had more to give but every little bit helps. That is an amazing thing you are doing Brooke! I really hope you reach your goal!!!
Michael - #5 reminds me of – The worst prison you can live in is the fear of what other people might think.
And of course #2 brings to mind the quote – If you aren’t failing you aren’t really trying.
Thanks for the blog and videos.
brookeshaden - Oh I love that Michael – fantastic quotes to live by.
Seema - That was a lovely and wonderful reminder of few simple facts which we forget. I love your blog and the honesty and goodness that you bring along.
brookeshaden - Thank you Seema! You’ve just given me inspiration for the whole week! xo!
Shasta - I needed this so much! Thank you again! I look forward to Mondays like you wouldn’t believe!
Amani - This has definitely resonated with me. The last point especially, because I’ve always been a people-pleaser and I try my best to be good to everyone, but I know it’s a reality I have to face and accept.
When I opened up this post the 5 points caught my eye and at first I was like “wait.. what?” haha but watching the video, I get it. It makes so much sense. The first one is also a great one, I don’t think it would ever be possible for me to say “this is it”, I always think that there’s ALWAYS room for improvement, I can always be better.
Thank you so much for this. I will definitely come back and watch it when I need that push. And this is the first video of you that I’ve seen since you left and I MISS YOU SO MUCH ALREADY!!
Elisabeth on Earth - I just LOVE this post. Copy. Paste. Print. Tack. Hanging up quotes and messages around my space help to remind of all the wonderful wisdom out there ~ thank you for this! Next week, after I finish this one last graphic design project, I start a three-month mission (hopefully longer!) to build my conceptual photography portfolio. The goal is to approach this with light-heartedness, curiosity, and adventure, and I know these five hard truths will keep help hold me in a more positive creative space, as counter-intuitive as that sounds.